Private Consultation

After more than two years since being diagnosed with AF/SVT, and although after initially seeming to settle down a bit, the last few weeks have been a nightmare.

Several visits to GP and a diagnosis of a chest infection where I was given a course of antibiotics, I really seem to be having lots more "episodes" which are getting nastier and lasting longer than I ever had before.

I have not seen the Cardiologist since last March where he concluded that " his PAF control is pretty good in terms of symptoms and is anticoagulated " and ended with " no routine review is needed but would be happy to see him if there are problems in future ".

My GP has said he will write to the Cardiologist with a view to me having an appointment to review drugs and treatment etc, however on looking up our local hospital's website I see that for Cardiology out patients there appears to be a 72 day waiting list.

During another bout of whatever it is last night I even thought of calling 999, but to be honest I could not face a night in A&E, although of course I would get to see someone from Cardiology almost at once.

Anyway to the point of my question, can someone advise how I go about obtaining an initial consultation with a EP on a private basis, do I have to be refered via my GP, and presuming they would need my records would this have to come from my local hospital. ( There is no EP or AF specialist listed there).

I live in South Somerset but I don't care where I would have to travel to see the right person. I am certainly not doubting the standard of care I have received in the past or the competence of those involved, but as you may imagine I am really fed up at the moment.

Sorry for the long ramble, but any advice gratefully received.


15 Replies

  • I went to the spire private hospital in cardiff but they have them all over the place. It was the best thing I ever did.

    First I went to my G.P. and said I wanted to privately. He was embarrassed about the waiting list and understood completely. He then told me to choose a consultant and ring the spire and make an appointment . As soon as I had a date I should inform my G.P. and he would send a referral.

    I went on the hospital website and chose the top man who was an E.P. rather than a general cardiologist and who also was head of department at the Cardiff university hospital. I phoned the receptionist and bingo I had an appointment for 2 weeks time.

    I saw him a couple of times privately and then he transferred me to his N.H.S. list as I needed an ablation. I am still waiting as the N.H.S. waiting list in Wales is long,but at least I'm on the way.

    Good luck. You won't regret it. X

  • Hello Ray and I do understand. There are a number of EPs in reasonable distance plus of course London. RD and E at Exeter , Derriford or Bristol if Musgrove Park is not suitable. You can check on AF-A website where there is a list by area under Patient information. I would start by finding the one you want to see and phone their secretary to get an appointment and then get a letter from your GP sent once you get that far. It might be the best £200 you spend.


  • I also made a private appointment via a Spire Hospital, but with the EP who had done my ablation. It was well worth it and I now don't need my NHS appointment in February. I told my GP I'd made the appointment, but he was not involved in any way.

  • Ray - I sympathise with what you are going through, having had a similar experience.

    You GP should be able to refer you privately to the EP of your choice. I cannot recommend anyone in particular as I live in N Ireland - but I can say it was the best decision I made. I waited only a few days, paid £200, have been symptom free since starting drugs prescribed by EP and am now under his care in the NHS.

    Go for it - you shouldn't have to suffer like that.

    Best wishes.

  • I was referred by my GP, at my request, to a private EP (of my choice) at BMI Birmingham. I think it still took a few weeks to get to see him. Cost me £150 for the first consultation and it was worth £15000. I was really poorly and getting desparate for some action and getting nowhere at all with GPs or the NHS.

    He arranged proper tests for me, analysed the results (another £150 I think), then defined a course of action, drugs then ablation on the NHS.

    Hope you get things sorted out.


  • Thanks folks for all your comments, looking up the list of EP's etc Bristol's only about an hour away from me so I'll give them a call in a bit to see what the situation is......

    In the meantime I hope you all have a good Christmas and stay well


  • I live in Taunton and my cardiologist at Musgrove Park said that if the meds I'm on don't work I can have a referral to Bristol or London, didn't say which hospital in London though.

    In the meantime you could see your GP once more as you may still have an infection or a virus?

  • Hi Buffafly, I'm in the middle between Yeovil and Taunton so although I could be sent to either, all my appointments have been at Yeovil.

    Yes I agree that I could still have an infection or virus but it appears my GP thinks, a he always seems to, that it's all down to the heart. My alternative theory is that the infection set off this latest round of misery.

    Anyway I have deceided to spend my hard unearned plastic and fix up an appointment at Papworth Hospital, which seems to be at the epicenter of heart and lung treatment, in the hope I can put this lot finally to bed and get on with whats left of my life. Will phone my doc in the morning and let him know what I intend.

    All the best and seasons greetings


  • Best wishes, look forward to hearing how you get on.

  • Hi Ray,

    It also took me years to see an E.P, It got to the point where I wrote a letter to my G.P and Cardiologist explaining exactly how I felt and how syymptoms were affecting me.Within a couple of months I saw an E.P in Oxford, Dr Rajappan, who is absolutely brilliant. Took the time to explain my condition, treatment options and lifestyle factors. My appointment was around 30 minutes and got everything out of it I wanted.

    All the best

  • Yes rich 101, I've reached that point where I have to do something, although I always seem to struggle to explain how I feel with the cover all coming out that " I feel bloody ill " so get no further.

    From your, and the other answers to my enquiry, getting to the specialists seems the name of the game.

    Just wish I had got to this point earlier!!!



  • Ray,

    This is what I did:

    I looked up EPs at Harefield Heart hospital online then rang the private patients number. I asked private Patients how to go about making an appointment. As I had already seen a cardiologist at Harefield some time before, they had all my notes so they made an appointment for me right then, with an EP.

    A 2 day wait only.

    The last time I saw my EP privately, I rang on the monday, got an appointment for the next day and he spent 45 minutes with me.

    Good luck.


  • Hi Pat,

    I had forgotten about Harefield, seem to remember some time ago Bob and others mentioned they had been treated there.

    Thanks for reply


  • Hi Ray,

    I am with an EP at Papworth, Dr M Virdee, a lovely kind man who listens to what you have got to say, I can't recommend him highly enough, he has been my lifeline in the last year, good luck and I hope you get the help you need soon.



  • Thanks Sharon,

    On looking up the lists both at Papworth and Harefield it seems your spoilt for choice with specialists.

    Have made a couple of enquiries but of course the next few days are going to be a bit hectic as most won't be holding clinics for a few days.

    Kicking myself now, wish I had got my act together about this sooner!

    All the best


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